Rare Lance Stroll sympathy emerges in Fernando Alonso ‘hammering’

Michelle Foster
Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll looks thrilled as he makes his way through the paddock at the Monaco Grand Prix. Monte Carlo, 2023.

Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll shoved his trainer in Qatar.

Taking a hammering from Fernando Alonso on the track, David Coulthard says he understands Lance Stroll’s frustration but that doesn’t make it okay for him to shove his trainer.

Stroll had yet another on a long list of trying Grand Prix weekends in Qatar, starting with the Aston Martin driver’s failure to make it out of Q1 on Friday night.

Back in the garage and with his night’s work prematurely curtailed, Stroll initially threw his steering wheel onto the nose of his AMR23, potentially damaging the £20,000 steering wheel and scratching the car.

Lance Stroll shoved his personal trainer Henry Howe

His behaviour went from bad to worse as approached by his personal trainer Henry Howe, Stroll was seen shoving the Briton out of his way.

“That is a meltdown which I feel for him,” Coulthard told Channel 4.

“That’s not something I thought I would say very often for Lance but he’s just getting absolutely hammered by Fernando Alonso and he’s had a meltdown.

“His trainer is just trying to do his job, which is get him to the scales.”

Aston Martin have one of the biggest percentage splits between drivers’ points with Alonso fourth in the Drivers’ standings on 183 points while Stroll has just 47 to his name.

But put to the pundits that “you can’t be putting your hands on someone like that”, fellow former F1 race winner Mark Webber replied: “No, absolutely not. The trainer was doing his best. You’ve got to go to the scale like this is regulation.

“Tricky session, he’s going to have to go through the admin of the sport.

“But ultimately he just lost his cool. And he’s in a tough situation. And I feel for him too. I actually feel for him right now, he’s under the pump.”

But while the last shove in the paddock that was caught on camera, Max Verstappen on Esteban Ocon at the 2018 Brazilian Grand Prix, earned the Red Bull driver two days of F1 community service, Formula 1 has yet to comment on Stroll’s behaviour.

PlanetF1.com recommends

F1 2023: Head-to-head qualifying and race stats between team-mates

Memorable meltdowns and temper tantrums: Five drivers who lost their cool on team radio

Stroll downplays Howe incident

As for Stroll, he brushed aside the incident saying there are no issues between himself and his trainer as they are feeling the same “frustrations” in the midst of his troubles.

“We’re good,” Stroll said about Howe. “He’s a bro.

“We go through the frustration together. We ride together. So, we’re cool.”

Leaving Qatar without a point on the board, Stroll extended his point-less run to five races with the Canadian not having scored since July’s Belgian Grand Prix.

“I’m just struggling with the car and just getting to grips with the balance,” he said. “I’m just not able to extract performance from it right now, which is difficult and frustrating.

“We’re in a rut and it’s not getting better. Frustration is in the whole group right now. We want to do better, we want to get better. But it’s just a struggle right now.

“I feel like I can’t really lean on the car and drive it with confidence without mishaps and understeer. And [there is a] balance that I really don’t particularly enjoy driving.”

Read next: Nico Rosberg’s scathing Lance Stroll criticism: ‘If it was any other driver, he’d be out’